According to a new report from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, more and more patients are embracing access to their medical records through the use of online portals and smartphone apps. According to ONC's report, in 2022, 3 out of 5 patients were offered and accessed their electronic medical records, a whopping 50 percent increase since 2020.

The numbers themselves are interesting, and the benefits of increased patient engagement are plentiful, but behind this are the HIPAA Covered Entities and Business Associates trying to keep up.

As more patients turn to online portals and mobile health apps, their health care providers, and the vendors who make these platforms run should not forget their ever-present obligations under HIPAA to protect the privacy and security of protected health information.

The three in five people who were offered and accessed their online record or patient portal last year represented a 50% increase over 2020. About three in four people were at least offered online access to their records, itself a 24% increase over 2020.